Jeff Stricker & Steve Tenbroeck
Alain Pinel
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Whether you are a first time buyer or seller, or have been through multiple transactions, you might be surprised by how quickly the real estate market changes in Los Altos, Palo Alto and surrounding communities. You need hard-hitting historical data, current market analysis, and insider experience to stay informed and succeed in these real estate markets.

As a service to their clients, Jeff Stricker and Steve TenBroeck of Alain Pinel Realtors provide regular market analysis and commentary. You are invited to read the entries below, add your comments, ask questions or contact them directly.

January 2013 | ­Real Estate Supply – Demand Mania!

In January 2013 new records were set for both highest median sales prices and lowest inventories of homes for sale.

This month we’ve focused on the market activity Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale. Below are 15-year graphs of activity and sales prices for the month of January. You can see why there are so many offers per property and why sales prices are rising so rapidly. The numbers of homes for sale is extremely low – probably the lowest since the 1950’s. You will have to look back to 2000 and 2005 to see similar high-demand, low supply ratios.

What is not recorded, unfortunately, are the numbers of offers per sale. We have been active in this housing market since the 1980’s and we’ve never encountered the number of offers we are seeing currently. For example, there was a sale in west Sunnyvale in late January of an entry level single family home that was listed at $925k. They received 62 offers! This many offers per property is an extremely rare event, of course, and the list price was undoubtedly too low, but still…unbelievable demand.

So, if you’re thinking of selling, what are you waiting for? And if you’re hoping to buy, fasten your seat belt and make sure your agent has a good strategy for success!

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Q4 Market Update: Hotter & Hotter!

The 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick is not the only hot commodity in town!

Homes on the San Francisco Peninsula continue to be on fire. Check out the charts below showing Q4 trends for the last 15 years in Palo AltoLos AltosMenlo ParkLos Altos Hills and Mountain View.

The first chart displays median price and percentage of list price received. As you can see, all areas showed improved median sales prices in Q4 2012 (except for Menlo Park which was merely a result of the lack of homes to sell in the upper price ranges). The second chart compares market activity – inventory of homes for sale, total sales and average days on the market. Inventories are at all-time lows in most areas and demand for those homes is fierce! We expect this pattern to continue for the foreseeable future. It will take a major financial shock of some sort to cool the current market.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your specific neighborhood and real estate needs, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call. We invite you to share this post with anyone who owns real estate or is looking to buy in Palo Alto, Los Altos and surrounding communities.

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November 2012 Monthly Snapshot – The Great Recession & Recovery

The Great Recession Recovery

We are certainly fortunate to live on the San Francisco Peninsula!  When recessions hit our housing market we are typically impacted much less than the rest of the country. We typically recover more quickly, too.

Some recessions hit us harder than others. The “Dot Com” recession of 2001/2002 hit us harder than the “Great Recession” of 2008/2009, for example. The determining factor is employment. We lost a lot more jobs in the Dot Com bust than we did in the Great Recession.

Bottom line: The local economy is back and, according to recent consumer confidence surveys, we’re feeling pretty good about it, too. “SAN FRANCISCO: Consumer confidence reaches highest levels in 5 years”, 12-06-12

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October 2012 Market Snapshot – The Old Supply & Demand Story


How’s the real estate market in Los Altos, Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and and Mountain View?  On Fire!

By examining supply and demand you can see why prices continue to rise in our area. For October 2012 compared to the 15 year average, the supply of homes for sale was down by 36%, on average. The number of homes sold (demand) was up by 25%. Fewer homes are on the market and more of them are selling.

See charts below for stats by city.







As a result, median sales prices were up in these five towns by 17%, on average, since October of 2009.





In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of October for Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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September 2012 Market Snapshot – Hot Market, Year Two

Now that we are three quarters of the way through the second year of a very hot local real estate market, we have to wonder. Is 2012 more like 2000 or 2005? Both of those years were second years of very hot markets, too. However, 2000 was the end of that hot market (the dot-com bust) while 2005 was the second year of a four-year hot market run. There is, of course, no way to know in advance. For that reason, real estate purchases and sales need to be considered long range decisions.

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